A new feature-length documentary about the wonderful Japanese animation studio that is Studio Ghibli had been released on all the major digital VOD platforms [iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Playstation, Xbox, and Vudu] today, and hopefully on physical formats soon for those of us who still like to own stuff with proper covers and all that. It’s called The Kingdom Of Dreams And Madness, and will take you behind the scenes of the brilliant outfit that has made some of the best animated films of all time, from the wondrous creations of Hayao Miyazaki to the devastatingly sad Grave Of The Fireflies, and will also eavesdrop on Miyazaki and Isao Takahata as they work to finish The Wind Rises and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. It was while director Mami Sunada’s cameras were rolling that Miyazaki announced his retirement!
Slashfilm have released a clip from The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness where you can watch the genius that is Miyazaki actually work. He animates the final shot of The Wind Rises, which he decided to change at the last second and, to him, it tied everything together. It’s actually a rather moving moment and a piece of film history, considering it will probably be the last animation he will ever do.
Here’s the official synopsis of The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness:
Granted near-unfettered access to the notoriously insular Studio Ghibli, director Mami Sunada follows the three men who are the lifeblood of Ghibli – the eminent director Hayao Miyazaki, the producer Toshio Suzuki, and the elusive and influential “other director” Isao Takahata – over the course of a year as the studio rushes to complete two films, Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises and Takahata’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. The result is a rare “fly on the wall” glimpse of the inner workings of one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios, and an insight into the dreams, passion and singular dedication of these remarkable creators.